Mike Yeo has added an interesting new name to his bench in St. Louis by hiring long-time NHL pest Steve Ott to his staff. The Blues announced the hiring – a three-year deal – Thursday afternoon one day after adding former NHLer Darryl Sydor to Yeo’s staff.
“Steve was a competitor on the ice as a player and I expect him to bring that energy in this role,” Yeo said in a statement. “He was highly respected as a player and a person among his teammates and I believe he will be a huge asset to our staff.”
The 34-year-old Ott played 848 NHL games with the Dallas Stars, Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues, Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens. He leaves the game with 109 goals, 288 points and as one of the game’s best in the face-off circle with a career 55 percent success rate on draws. Also, he finishes 16th all-time with 1,555 penalty minutes after 14 seasons of getting under the skin of opponents.
Ott had his bad moments in the NHL, like the multiple fines and suspensions he received. But there were those few occasions where he was on the good side of things. Remember when Ott and Dylan Larkin posed in the penalty box as a young Detroit Red Wings fan got her picture taken? Or when a Make-a-Wish kid tossed him from the ceremonial face-off before a game with the Washington Capitals? Most memorably, we’ll never forget that he was the first face we saw wear those dreaded Buffalo Sabres turdburger jerseys.
Now instead of annoying opponents on a regular basis, Ott’s pest skills will now likely be put to use toward officials on a regular basis.
“I’m so happy,” Ott told Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch. “I’m extremely proud of my career to say the least. I know it’s time, I feel it in my heart that it’s time for me to take the next step. And like I said, it is something I’ve really been working on for a lot of years and I’m very passionate about this. It’s going to be a lot of hard work going forward but an opportunity to have a chance to get better as a person, as a coach now, and have a chance to work with some great people from that organization.”
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